Rules in fashion are meant to be broken while rules in style are meant to be kept personal. How our ensembles are assembled may influence how people think about us. To look aesthetically appropriate is to wear a suit and tie while for women, a dress perhaps… or is it?
In modern times, most norms seem to be under siege and people who possess the gumption to stay true to their personal style are often viewed as making other people “uncomfortable”. However, this depends on where the style is being flaunted–whether by country, institution or gender.
With the latest collections from fashion brands like Victoria Beckham, Ralph & Russo and Thom Browne, we dissect and understand current “dress codes” and forces of style and fashion.
Level 1: Victoria Beckham
Somber, assured and light, the fashion house stays true to its minimalist roots where founder and designer Victoria is best known to have started the trend since the 90s in-your-face fashion era. Celebrating its decade-long stay in the business of fashion, the collection asserts age-inclusivity that the brand focuses on. The theme reference is without a doubt 90s cool with a hint of elegance. White trouser suit pants are paired with lace-trimmed satin camisole and silver metallic low-heeled boots. Very relatable to the modern woman of this time. There is also layering, a nod to the 90s trend of wearing dresses over trousers, but this time, in a “posh” and polished way. The key component of the collection which is shown 11 times in different colors, is a super-slim crepe trousers with a V-shape split in the front hem, neatly showcasing the top of another pair of low slipper boots. This minimalist style of wearing clothes are versatile for day, night and pretty much any time in between.
Victoria Beckham Shop 216 , 2/F, Landmark, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2539 7008
Level 2: Ralph & Russo
Clothes from Ralph & Russo is safe to say not minimalist nor maximalist. It is catered to edgier, modern style that is still tame in a way. The brand’s latest collection presents luxurious comfort with an elegant twist. Tapered silhouettes, sharp lines and captivating textures intersperse the collection as sport-luxe separates, leather mini dress and directional outerwear deliver adaptable and innovative sophistication. Both rural and urban style are presented through the use of earth compassing tones punctuated with bold colors and embellishments to represent city lights. Think of basic wardrobe staples made from unconventional materials–that’s what Ralph & Russo is doing. A way of dressing up without too much noise happening.
Ralph & Russo ralphandrusso.com
Level 3: Thom Browne
This one is not for the faint-hearted. We see this a lot in cities like Tokyo and Seoul where maximalist styling is definitely a head turner. That is exactly what the fashion house Thom Browne is doing this season. Known for his evocative designs, cultural references are twisted and turned with the collage technique into couture-level pieces. The resulting Frankenstein looking pieces are both meticulous in their brilliance and demented in their proportions. And perhaps that was the brand’s point to showcase dreamy fashion reveries that tend to be a complex web of both the beautiful and terrifying. Although definitely not for everyone and daily life activities, these dazzling, one-of-a-kind designs would stand just as tall with or without the eye-rolls it gets when displayed publicly. This collection is simply being good at being bad while being bad at being good as the people from Thom Browne would best describe this collection. Cliché as it sounds, beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder.